As 2014 came to a close, we also celebrated our first anniversary as a website devoted to the business of comedy, so we had double the reason to celebrate the year in comedy. We picked all of our favorite contributions to comedy this year– the best in comedy movies, the greatest works of authorship by comedians, the outstanding year in comedy television programming, and of course the best of stand up represented by tours, albums, and comedy specials released in 2014. After we narrowed all the categories down to our favorites, we turned the final decision over to you, to choose who had the best comedy in 2014. Some of the races were so close, it came down to a handful of votes separating first and second (and sometimes third) place despite there being thousands of votes registered. Here they are– the comedy elite 2014.
Sroll down to read the text and see the nominees below the image.
Nominees: Bill Burr, Amy Schumer, Hannibal Buress, Dave Chappelle, Aziz Ansari, Russell Peters
This year Bill Burr quickly became the name comedians bring up when discussing the best names in the business. In 2014 Burr released his fourth special ‘I’m Sorry You Feel That Way’ to great reviews, as well as a vinyl cut of his 2011 Carnegie Hall performance. And it’s already looking like 2015 will only bring bigger and better for Burr, who is in the new Kevin Costner film “Black or White” due out this month. He’s touring the world early this year, in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Mumbai, and later in the year we’re looking forward to his original animated Netflix series, “F is for Family.”
Burr is sharp, analytical, thoughtful and always surprising, and he’s just getting warmed up, making him our Comedian of the Year 2014.
Nominees: Top Five, Trip to Italy, Birdman, Chef, Grand Budapest Hotel, Obvious Child, Skeleton Twins, They Came Together, The Interview St Vincent
Wes Anderson has his own genre of comedy and Grand Budapest Hotel is his latest contribution to that genre. There are heists, there is farce, romantic comedy, inside jokes, running gags, and nonstop physical comedy all wrapped up in a beautiful delicate package with frosting on top. It’s as fun and funny as you’d expect from a film bringing together Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson and, of course, Bill Murray under the brilliant direction of Wes Anderson.
Beautiful, brilliant and hysterically funny, Grand Budapest Hotel is our Comedy Movie of the Year for 2014.
Nominees: Jim Gaffigan Food a Love Story, Andrew Dice Clay The Filthy Truth, Amy Poehler Yes Please, Joan Rivers Diary of a Mad Diva, Russell Brand Revolution, Carol Leifer How To Succeed in Business Without Really Crying, Todd Glass The Todd Glass Situation, Megan Amram Science…For Her, John Cleese So Anyway, Martin Short I Must Say
In her final book, Rivers pens a diary given to her by her daughter Melissa and records her daily thoughts, and no one is safe from her cross hairs. The book takes shots at over 130 celebrities in a variety of ways, including actress Kristen Stewart, who reportedly threatened Rivers with a lawsuit over comments made in the book before it was even released. A must read for fans of Rivers, who proves she was funny, sharp and absolutely fearless right up until the end.
Her book is a must-read, the best Book Authored by a Comedian in 2014.
Nominees: Dave Chappelle, Oddball Comedy Tour, Hannibal Buress, Tig Notaro, Tim and Eric, Mike Birbiglia
The folks behind Funny or Die put together The Oddball Comedy Tour with an ever changing line up of the biggest names in stand up including: Louis CK, Sarah Silverman, Aziz Ansari, Hannibal Buress, and Amy Schumer, among others, leaving it too hard for any single artist tour to compete for comedy of the year. That many giant names sharing the stage on an entire tour is unheard of. The tour also featured guest drop ins from Dave Chappelle on the same stage that he had walked off a year earlier.
Here’s hoping they bring back the Oddball Tour in 2015, the Comedy Tour of the Year.
Nominees: Sarah Silverman We Are Miracles, Chris Gethard My Comedy Album, Big Jay Oakerson The Crowd Work Sessions, Mark Normand Still Got It, Cameron Esposito Same Sex Symbol, Tommy Johnagin Stand Up Comedy 3, Joe Mande Bitchface, Nick Thune Folk Hero, Mike Vecchione Muscle Confusion, Weird Al Yankovic Mandatory Fun
Most comedians use crowd work in their sets. It helps freshen up their act with something that isn’t pre-written and rehearsed. But having a determined act also gives a comic security on stage, something that comedian Big Jay Oakerson sheds on his new album ‘What’s Your F@!?#NG Deal?!: The Crowd Work Sessions’, recorded at The Stand in NYC. Because he’s able to riff on any subject an audience member may bring up, Oakerson will make you actually want to get picked out of the crowd at one of his shows.
Big Jay Oakerson and his innovative and brutally funny “What’s Your F@!?#NG Deal” crowdwork album is our Comedy Album of the Year.
Nominees: Brooklyn Nine Nine, Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground Live, Comedy Bang Bang, Inside Amy Schumer, Silicon Valley, Pete Holmes Show, Key and Peele, Review, South Park, Last Week Tonight
When John Oliver stepped in as guest host of the Daily Show over the summer he made everyone stop and think for a second that if Jon decided to step away forever, maybe we’d be ok with this Brit taking over the Daily Show desk. When that was said and done, even bigger news broke – he was getting his own gig on Sunday nights for HBO, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. People had doubts, but Oliver has proven to all that he’s got the chops to host and host well. Bonus points for taking the job on a Sunday night, nowhere near his old bosses.
In a crowded field of great series this year, Oliver edged out some great competitors for Comedy Television Series of the Year in 2014.
Nominees: Tom Segura Completely Normal, Chelsea Peretti One of the Greats, Artie Lange Stench of Failure, Kurt Metzger White Precious, Jim Jefferies Bare, Dave Attell Road Work, Hannibal Buress Live From Chicago, Jim Gaffigan Obsessed, Patton Oswalt Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time
Jim Jefferies previous specials were famous around the world for their blunt and brutally honest stories and takes on various socials issues. Jefferies newest Netflix special is no different as it opens with bits on why women should make less than men and a new holiday called ‘Anal Sex Day’ that Jefferies is the ambassador of. Crude humor aside, Jefferies doesn’t shy away from thoroughly explaining to the American audience why he is opposed to all guns in an explicit yet very intelligent way. Yes, you know what you’re getting into with a Jim Jefferies special but he keeps it new and fresh with his 2014 special ‘Bare’.
In this fiercely competitive category that changed leads many times, Jim Jefferies takes the #1 spot as Comedy Special of the Year.